The Infection That Kicked My Butt. (...still kickin' it)

Yep. That's me. In the hospital. 
I'm going to start at the beginning because that is the easiest place to start. Just so you know, I am going to be talking a lot of breastfeeding, breasts, etc. If you do not think you are up to reading about this topic, I would suggest you watch this funny video instead.

Breastfeeding with my son, Asa, has been going great ever since he was about ten minutes old.  Now, my breasts on the other hand are a bit outrageous.  I have oversupply (which basically means I make way more milk than Asa can even eat-I am talking at least 15 extra ounces a day) and overactive letdown (which means when it rains it pours...think about it).  Neither of these things are a bad thing, you just have to learn to adjust a bit. However, the return to work has seemed to cause a few problems for this super supplied Mama.  Since I feed Asa on demand (which means whenever he wants), the transition to work with a set pumping schedule of every three hours was still a bit more that the frequency that Asa eats at home. Basically my body had a hard time adjusting to the pump since Asa did such a good job emptying me out.

After being back to work for about two weeks I found a lump in my right breast about the size of a walnut.  Which if you think about it is rather large. Thoughts were that it could just be a fibrous cyst or maybe a really clogged duct from the above changes in my life. I went in to see my midwife but since I was not having any other pain or symptoms she decided that I should just keep an eye on it. 

Flash forward to this past week. The beginning of last week I started getting some intermittent throbbing in lump on my right breast but it would usually go away quickly.  I also started to feel as if I was getting a sore throat but that also would fade once I got my day going. The other odd thing that was happening was that I was EXHAUSTED.  Naturally, I attributed this to the fact that I have a newborn child, work full-time, write part-time, and keep a frickin' clean house. Now that I look back on it, I was way more exhausted than I have ever been. At the time nothing seemed to connect in my mind.  

Come Thursday, I started feeling all of the tell-tale signs of the flu: body aches, chills, sore throat, exhaustion...you name it, I had it.  In addition, I had constant, throbbing pain in my right breast, and once I started examining it a bit closer I realized that the once walnut sized lump was now the size of a lime. I realized this was. not. good.

After checking with my boss if it was okay to head out a few minutes early I stopped at a nearby walk-in clinic. Words like ultrasounds, "you poor thing", and mastitis were exchanged. It was a sad moment. Basically, they could give me an antibiotic to fight off infection and then I was to take tylenol for pain/fever.  The earliest I could get an ultrasound (which would really tell us about this enormous, heinous lump was in my breast) was Monday afternoon. So I went home. For the weekend.  To wait.

Once I picked up my son from his wonderful sitter's house who had watched him beyond his normal time so that I could go to the doctor, I headed home and climbed in bed.  With mastitis you want to keep nursing on both sides, even the infected one.  That way you are emptying your milk ducts out and not risking getting any of them becoming plugged (sometimes the cause of lumps).  A little while after getting Asa and I situated in bed, Josh took my temperature and it was 103 degrees.  Now that was a shock. We had no idea my fever was so high.  I had been avoiding any pain medication because I don't like the idea of Asa receiving anything through my breast milk, but we decided that I needed to take tylenol to get the fever down. I thought I would freeze to death with all the chills I was having while my poor husband felt like he was sleeping next to a sauna. It was a long night.

Saturday morning didn't bring about much change. I was still in a ton of pain (please keep in mind that I went through child birth unmedicated and did not cry once-so this was really painful) and had a few crying fits. We ended up asking Josh's mom to come over and help out because Josh needed to finish up a time sensitive freelance project and staying at home with an infant + three pups seemed really overwhelming.  It was a huge blessing having someone over to help.  My fever ranged from 100 to 103 throughout the day, and we added in a rotating schedule of extra strength tylenol and ibuprofen.  At one point I was without a fever entirely. Although the fever was fading away, the pain seemed to be getting worse.  I have to tell you that having my husband come home from working was one of the most comforting things that happened all day. That, and all of Asa's smiles, squirms, and coos. They literally sustained me. Once we went to bed, I prayed that I would wake up without any pain or fever.

Sunday morning (this morning), I woke up in even worse pain, so we decided to call my midwife. After Josh got a hold of her it was decided that we needed to head into the emergency room with hopes to get this situation under control. We packed up Asa and his diaper bag and headed out the door. 

Upon arriving at the E.R., I laughed a bit because even though I was just there two months ago to have Asa, I did not remember a single thing about it (fyi-the adult e.r. is the drop off point for women in labor).  We were then taken to a room, vitals were taken, and I was sent in for an ultrasound. For the ultrasound they basically looked at this horrible lump from every angle, and it was super painful. I cried.  After that we headed back to our E.R. room and I was administered a large dose of antibiotics through an IV.  It turned out that I was going to be admitted for at least 24 hours in order to get my infection under control and hopefully see a decrease in the infected tissue (...lump). Basically, an infection or bacteria must have entered my body through my nip and infected the breast tissue. They said it is nothing that I could have prevented, just really bad luck :(.

So that is where I am. In my little hospital room. The hospital has been really sweet and brought a bassinet into my room so that Asa does not have to leave my side. My parents and Josh's parents came and said hi. Josh will be back in a little while to stay the night with us.  For now it is just me and the little guy cuddling in this hospital bed, eating hospital food, and watching really sweet, FREE movies.  Between the antibiotics through my iv every few hours, compresses, motrin, and more, I feel like there is at least hope again.

Don't worry, I will give you another update soon and I hope to be going home tomorrow at some point.  Have a great night and maybe say a little prayer for me.


p.s. sorry if there isn't a complete flow to this post. I am writing it in interesting circumstances but I thought it was at least worth a try. 

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

1 comment:

Meliss said...

Whew. Mastitis was always my greatest fear because I had WICKED OVERSUPPLY AND OVERACTIVE LETDOWN as well. It took us all the way until 12 weeks to get regulated and like Asa, Marlowe was a champ from the beginning. And she ate a lot.

What saved me was packing up the pump and never looking at it again. It was causing more trouble than what it was worth.

I am praying for you Sarah. I'm so sorry!!

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